Preacher says Muslims forbidden from using FaceApp’s gender-swapping filter

A woman using the Faceapp. Photo: Coconuts KL
A woman using the Faceapp. Photo: Coconuts KL

Malaysian Islamic preacher Nur Muhammad Hadi has declared the Faceapp as haram (forbidden) for Muslims.

According to the preacher, gender-swapping of one’s facial features and uploading it for all to see online is “humiliating” and “degrading” towards oneself as a Muslim.

“For example, when we are naturally-born male, changing our features to one that’s female would be against human nature,” he told Al-Hijrah News on Sunday. “When we spread the gender-swapped photos on social media, it becomes humiliating and degrading.”

Dr Nur Muhammad Hadi speaking to reporters. Screengrab from Al-Hijrah News
Dr Nur Muhammad Hadi speaking to reporters. Screengrab from Al-Hijrah News

Nur also encouraged parents to check if their children have been using Faceapp because he feared that it would encourage them to switch genders or lure pedophiles. 

“I fear that young boys would have the desire to change their gender when they see their features as female, or vice versa,” he said. “Also, pedophiles may be attracted to children who post their photos online when playing with the gender-swapping feature.”

The preacher is from the University of Islamic Sciences in Selangor and regularly appears on television and at the Sharifah Fatimah Mosque in Kedah.

The Faceapp is a photo-editing application developed in Russia and launched three years ago. Its gender-swapping features became a trend on social media earlier this month, with thousands sharing photos of themselves appearing as the opposite gender.

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